Caldo Verde

This recipe is adapted from The Food of Spain and Portugal, by Elizabeth Ortiz. To make a heartier version of the soup, called caldo gallego, cook ingredients with a smoked ham hock; discard at the end. Stir in 1 to 2 cups white beans or garbanzo beans.

Course Appetizer, Main Dish
Cuisine Portuguese, Spanish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 medium bunch kale, dandelion or young turnip greens
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes peeled and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt or as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper as needed
  • 4 to 8 ounces fresh, cooked chorizo* or smoked chorizo* or other garlic-flavored sausage, sliced thinly *


  1. Trim tough stems from kale and slice crosswise in thin pieces. Stack leaves, about 6 at a time, roll up and slice thinly.
  2. Place onion in a large, heavy saucepan and drizzle with oil. Saute over medium heat, stirring often, until onion is soft and translucent, but not browned. Add potatoes and sliced kale stems. Cook several minutes longer.
  3. Cover ingredients with water, and add 2 teaspoons salt and several grindings of black pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until potatoes are very soft, about 20 minutes.
  4. Fit a food mill with the medium sieve and force the potato mixture through into a bowl; alternatively, use a food processor or blender to puree.

  5. Return the pureed mixture to the saucepan and reheat gently, adding more water if too thick. Add kale leaves and cook just until wilted. Stir in cooked chorizo just before serving.

Recipe Notes

* Mexican-style chorizo is usually fresh. Cook it thoroughly in a little olive oil and cool before slicing. The cured chorizo used in Spain or Portugal (chourico) does not need additional cooking.